Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
It is a familiar and well known story from the book of Exodus, Moses leading the Israelite nation out of Egypt and across the sea where God miraculously piled up the waters and made a way for them to safely cross over on dry land. After God destroys the pursuing army of Pharoah by drowning them in the same sea the Israelites just safely crossed, this nation of people begin their wilderness journey to the Promised Land.
In Chapter 15 after the harrowing journey from Egypt and across the parted Red Sea, Moses sings a song of praise and deliverance. From there they begin their wilderness journey and on the third day they are tired and thirsty in a place called Marah where the water is bitter but the Lord commands Moses to cast a tree into the water which made it sweet and drinkable. This was done because of the outcry of the people.
Yet, just a couple verses later they arrive at Elim where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees. Every time I read verse 27 I think about the times I have almost given up on something I have prayed about or asked God.
God knew they were almost there. He knew the oasis was just ahead. He wanted them to learn to trust Him. I think we can all agree if we have read the book of Exodus that they waffled between trust and complaining quite regularly, and complaining was more frequent than trust.
How many times have you thought about giving up and then when you least expected it, God did something that totally surprised you in an answer to prayer?
I want to live my life expecting the blessing around the corner. It may take longer than I expect sometimes. There may be dry and difficult seasons and my trust may be tested as I continue to wait and ask. But because I have seen God work in wonderful ways over a lifetime, I still believe that around the corner an overflowing and abundant blessing waits for me.
(Photos taken in White Sands, New Mexico and Dallas Arboretum)